Ashley Miller, a Torquay State School Year 6 student, enjoys a social activity while attending the Fraser Coast USQ Smart Steps program.
Ashley Miller, a Torquay State School Year 6 student, enjoys a social activity while attending the Fraser Coast USQ Smart Steps program. Brendan Bufi

Smart Steps opens eyes, but set to go as trial ends

DURING the past three years thousands of primary school children have been inspired through the University of Southern Queensland's Smart Steps: Jobs to Go program.

But as the three-year trial comes to an end, it's the program that will go.

Funded by an Australian Government grant, the program allowed primary school children to attend USQ and get a feel for higher education.

It was aimed at addressing the low take-up of tertiary education by people in low socio-economic regions such as the Fraser Coast.

Veneta Stiles was one of the pioneers behind the program.

She said data had shown it inspired children, and the loss of the program would be a huge loss to the students.

"(Later) they do a survey to see whether they've got increased career aspirations," she said.

It showed an increased awareness of opportunities to do further study, she said.